Christmas in the Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley Holiday Events

Ballard | Buellton Los Alamos | Los Olivos | Santa Ynez | Solvang



Christmas in the Santa Ynez Valley, celebrate Solvang’s Julefest with a season of lights, parades, and other holiday traditions in the wine-country gem of California’s Central Coast.

Merry Christmas visit the Santa Ynez Valley

Immortalized in films like A Very Charming Christmas Town, the holidays in the Santa Ynez Valley are filled with small-town  holiday festivals, special winemaker dinners, and more.

The Santa Ynez Valley’s authentic Danish-American village a darling of so many lists of the “Most Magical Christmas Towns” in the world.

With events through Jan. 6, 2024, Julefest  includes favorites such as the annual Solvang Tree Lighting Ceremony (Dec. 1), Julefest Parade (Dec. 2), Candlelight Tours, the “Nisse Adventure” scavenger hunt, Solvang Food Tours, and so much more.

Holiday Festivals

The six distinct communities of the Santa Ynez Valley each have their unique way of celebrating the season.

Festivities Remaining

Both the kids and the kids at heart will love the Santa Ynez Valley Cowboy Christmas (Weekends through Dec. 23). This favorite rustic family holiday experience includes horseback rides, kids obstacle course, petting zoo, wooden ornament decorating, and more.

Holiday Shopping

The Santa Ynez Valley is home to more than 200 independent and family-owned boutiques, each offering unique treasures that will make a perfect gift.

The local boutiques, artisans, galleries, farm stores, and more that will make your holiday shopping something to savor. 

Holiday Lights

See the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden’s Holiday Lights Festival ,  a stunningly beautiful display of holiday lights every weekend during the holiday season.

Tour downtown Solvang or Los Olivos, both decorating the streets with a holiday light display all through town. Don’t forget to visit the Christmas tree in Santa Ynez, the tallest in the region. Even the iconic windmill in downtown Solvang will be lit with holiday lights all season long.

Uniquely Santa Ynez Valley

Stroll the authentic Danish bakeries of Solvang. Whether in the mood for a light and delicate kringle or traditional holiday treats such as gingerbread cookies, Solvang’s bakeries always make the holidays sweet and delicious.

Speaking of gingerbread, a tour of the region’s gingerbread houses is a must. The annual display of gingerbread houses at St. Mark’s in the Valley is a can’t miss during Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas. Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery in Solvang brings holiday cheer each season with its famed gingerbread house, and the Chumash Casino Resort’s massive gingerbread house defies belief.

You can even do as the celebrities do and order your own custom gingerbread house from Solvang Bakery.

Holiday Wine

Go on a wine walk in postcard-perfect Los Olivos, where its nearly three dozen tasting rooms are set in picturesque Victorian-style buildings lit up for the holidays.

See more particular details below.


Bob’s WellBread
2449 Baseline Ave., Ballard, CA 93463

Open until  2pm on Christmas Eve (Sunday).




A Cowboy Christmas 2023



A Cowboy Christmas returns for another year of unforgettable holiday activities for all ages!

River View Park, 151 Sycamore Drive, Buellton 

Enjoy unique holiday animal experiences:

  • the Daring Elf Adventure (experiential pony ride through the North Pole),
  • Tipsy Ornament Challenge (horseback challenge)
  • food & drinks (including beer/wine)
  • Santa Meet-and-Greet (sit in Gene Kelly’s vintage sleigh!)
  • games & obstacle course, bounce house, hay bale pyramid
  • hot cocoa bar
  • the Rowdy Reindeer Ride (mechanical bull) & so much more!

Holiday Lights Festival at Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden

santa ynez valley botanical-gardens-holiday-lights

Save the Date for the second annual Enchanted Garden Holiday Lights Festival hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden.

Guests can purchase tickets on select dates and times between 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. (the last showing at 8 p.m.).

This will be a one-of-a-kind lighted display in the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden at night. The Santa Ynez Botanic Garden is located at the West end of River View Park.

Tickets to the Holiday Lights Festival includes entry into the Enchanted Garden during your purchased time slot in addition to enjoying all that the festival has to offer.

$25 for adults, $10 for children 3-12 years old; and children 2 and under are free.
Buy Tickets:





Christmas Day Norman at Skyview Los Alamos 
9150 US-101,Los Alamos, CA 93440


At Norman, we believe in good conversation, comforting food, and a drink list that highlights some of the best winemakers and local ingredients around.

Gather with your favorite people for brunch, cozy into a dimly lit corner booth for dinner, or order your favorite dish poolside as the weather is always looking up here in Los Alamos.

Christmas Day Menu at Norman

  • Prix Fixe Two Course Brunch, 10am – 1:30pm, $40pp
  • Prix Fixe Three Course Dinner, 4 – 9pm, $75pp

(805) 344-0080

Bob’s WellBread
550 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440

Open until  2pm on Christmas Eve (Sunday).





Fess Parker Winery and Wine Country Inn
2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos CA



fess-parker-wine-country-inn-holiday-specialsIncludes everything needed to make you feel at home during your holiday stay with us:

  • Two nights in a luxurious Wine Country Inn room
  • A bottle of port in room upon arrival
  • Freshly baked holiday cookies delivered to room upon arrival
  • A s’mores kit for two, which can be roasted at one of the Wine Country Inn’s cozy courtyard fire pits
  • Wine Tasting for two at Fess Parker Winery
  • Wine tasting for two in the Epiphany Winter Wonderland Garden

Available for stay dates December 1 through January 1.


Perfect for those looking to get in the holiday spirit and do their Christmas shopping in Los Olivos, this package includes:

  • Two nights in a luxurious Wine Country Inn room
  • A bottle of Fesstivity in room upon arrival
  • Freshly baked holiday cookies delivered to room upon arrival
  • Wine Tasting for two at Fess Parker Winery
  • Wine tasting for two in the Epiphany Winter Wonderland Garden
  • A Holiday Shopping Passport that can be presented at some of our favorite local boutiques and shops to receive a discount. These shops include: Coco-Belle, Lou Los Olivos, Plenty Boutique, Heaven Scent, Layered by Paige Elise, Wendy Foster, Brass Tack and more!

Bookable now for stay dates Nov 16 – January 1.



Gingerbread Wonderland:

Milk Carton GingerbreadGingerbread Wonderland is coming to St. Mark’s in Los Olivos on Saturday December 3rd from 4 to 8 pm. Beautiful gingerbread houses decorated by locals, and you can enter a gingerbread house of your own if you want.

There will also be a Christmas cookie sale, live music, holiday crafts for the children, food and drinks and photos with Santa. Proceeds from this event will benefit Arts Outreach and St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Preschool, both of which serve children of our Santa Ynez Valley.


Mattei’s Tavern Shine Bright Festive Tree Lighting

mattei's-tavern-tree-lightingSunday, December 10, 4 pm

Join us for our inaugural tree lighting, a new holiday tradition at the Inn at Mattei’s Tavern. Gather beside family and friends of the local community, as you sip on warm, festive beverages.

Ignite your holiday spirit, and let the glow of the beautifully lit tree illuminate your heart with wonder and joy. 100% of the proceeds from this event will be donated to People Helping People.

Enjoy complimentary cookies, hot chocolate and cider, or order beer and wine at our cash bar. Children are invited to decorate ornaments to take home as a keepsake.

Auberge Resorts Mattei’s Tavern Tree Lighting Sign up here

Mattei’s Tavern
2350 Railway Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441

Visiting Market Place Vendors:

  • Bookslinger – Small indie bookstore
  • Brass Tack – Fair trade and vintage lifestyle boutique
  • CocoBelle – Curated boutique for women
  • Forage Florals – Boutique florist and home decor studio
  • Hammered Hoops – Personalized handmade jewelry
  • Jessica Confections and Global Gardens – Gourmet chocolate truffles and award-winning olive oil
  • KJ Murphy – Custom hatter and mercantile
  • Layered – Unique decor designed to elevate and transform living spaces
  • Lou – Women’s contemporary clothing and curated resort wear
  • The Asher Market – Children’s clothing Made of high quality, soft cotton from Peru
  • Delmar Lewon – One of a kind, authentic artwork
  • Charolettes – Native American jewelry, vintage Mexican silver, bits, spurs, or art

Wine Tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley 


Future Perfect Wine |  Open 11 AM – 5 PM Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
2933 San Marcos Ave #101, Los Olivos, CA 93441
(805) 697-7162




CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER at The Victor Restaurant and Bar

3631 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460

(805) 695-2999

Hours 3 – 7 PM

Regular Menu Or Coastal Christmas $95
8oz dry aged new york & 8oz local spinytail
lobster, tomato béarnaise, loaded baked potato

Closed Christmas Day




Julefest-christmas-tree-lighting-solvangSOLVANG JULEFEST 2023

The annual Danish village holiday celebration, Solvang Julefest, happens in the Santa Ynez Valley wine country beginning the day after Thanksgiving,  — and lights up the town through Friday, January 5, 2024!
Julefest (pronounced ‘Yule-Fest’) includes the following:
  • “Nisse Adventure” scavenger hunt
  • Solvang Food Tours
  • Candlelight Tours
  • and so much more information on

Nisse Adventure
Join in the hunt for the mysterious Solvang Nisse (Christmas elves) which will have hidden themselves throughout downtown Solvang (more information, TBA).

“Lights and Sights” Tour
Take the tour through the Santa Ynez Valley to view the many houses and businesses that display a Christmas spirit. Traditionally held midweek, Lights and Sights dates will soon be announced.

Solvang Christmas Tree Burn
Usually held in early January at the end of the month-long Solvang Julefest celebration, Solvang’s Tree Burn is one of the largest fire safety demonstrations along the California Central Coast. The 2024 Tree Burn is currently scheduled for Friday, January 5 (weather permitting).

*** Please Note:
Always check status of events and all event updates prior to making travel plans.


Cecco Ristorante
475 1st St #9, Solvang, CA 93463

  • Xmas eve: 11 AM – 6 PM
  • Xmas: Closed
  • New Year’s eve: 11 AM -9 PM
  • New Year’s day: 11 AM -7 PM

The Good Life – a craft beer and wine cellar
A premier bottle shop and tasting room
1672 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-7111
Open Christmas Eve – 12pm – 4pm
Christmas Day – CLOSED

V Lounge at the Vinland Hotel | Open 4-11PM everyday
Fresh Californian Fare with an Unmistakable Danish Flair
1455 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA  93463



Fess Parker Winery and Wine Country Inn
2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos CA

Ballard | Buellton | Los Alamos | Los Olivos | Santa Ynez | Solvang

Check Back for more information as it becomes available. 

Restaurants and Wineries Open for New Year’s holidays

Find a list of what restaurants and wineries will be open for Christmas and New Years, and which restaurants offer special holiday menus. For the best experience, we highly recommend calling the restaurants and tasting rooms ahead of time to ensure they still have seating availability.

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Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.